New ADT/6FM Building

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, blessed and formally opened the new Sixth Form and Art & Design Building at St Benedict’s School on Thursday 28th January, the Feast Day of St Thomas Aquinas. The building will provide a fitting lasting memory of Headmaster Chris Cleugh, in whose honour it is named. A gloriously sunny day reflected the joyous mood of the whole occasion.

At the start a Solemn Mass in the Abbey Church was concelebrated by the Cardinal, Father Abbot Martin Shipperlee and eleven other Benedictine monks. In his Homily Cardinal Nichols told us that this was a very good day on which to hold the opening ceremony. He reminded us that St Thomas was always searching for the truth, asking questions and looking for God in the Beauty (Art) and Purpose (Design) of individual things, which together make up a whole, always reflecting the rule of God. He exhorted our Sixth Form and our art students to do the same.

After Mass Cardinal Nichols performed the Blessing Ceremony and unveiled the Commemorative Stone of the new building. The inscription, together with an English translation, is given below:



The Cardinal also blessed a newly planted tree in memory of Maria del Pilar Gomez Sanz (1958-2014), parent and member of the Society of Parents and Friends and a great supporter of St Benedict’s School. The official opening concluded with the blessing of the statue of Our Lady ‘Sedes Sapientiae.’

After the ceremony all the assembled guests could tour the new building. Although the Sixth Form have been using their facilities since November, the eye-catching light sculpture had only just been installed a few days earlier, completely changing the outlook of the social area and the Scriptorium. The Art and Design rooms were open to public view for the first time so there was plenty to see and admire – Jan 16

The striking design of the building by architects van Heyningen and Haward features bays on the first floor study area framed by distinctive saw tooth windows. On entering the building there is a wonderful sense of space. The ground floor comprises the open plan social area, with locker spaces and pigeonholes. Sixth Form students have their own dedicated entrance directly from Montpelier Avenue. On the first floor, the study area, known as the Scriptorium, exudes an air of scholarly learning. A variety of study environments are available, including individual areas in the projecting window bays and conference rooms for collaborative group work. The light sculpture, hanging in the void between the two Sixth Form spaces, links the two areas and symbolises Benedictine tradition and ethos - Dec15.

The Sixth Form moved into their new quarters on Monday 2nd November and both students and staff are enjoying the excellent purpose-built facilities. The ground floor comprises the social area, with locker spaces and pigeonholes, while the first floor houses the study area, known as the Scriptorium, which exudes an air of scholarly learning

Grainne Dunlea, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, commented: “There is a purposeful learning environment in the Scriptorium and the student body has really embraced it. Students come in early to work and stay after school much more readily. In the large social area both Upper and Lower Sixth can mix in a pleasant environment.”

Sixth Form students: “The Scriptorium is a very effective place for study. There is more space and you can find your own, private corner for individual study or sit round a table to work with others. It’s nice to be able to look out of a window rather than just looking at a wall. The small conference rooms are great – it’s really good that students can book them outside of lesson time for collaborative group work.”- Nov 15.


Montpelier Avenue south side in Ealing has a new view as the Sixth Form and Art & Design Building at St Benedict’s School has emerged from its protective sheeting. The gold coloured saw-tooth windows are looking magnificent in the October sun - Oct 15.


The scaffolding is down and the external works are well under way. The cladding to the saw tooth windows will weather down to a colour similar to the window frames. - 29 July 2015

The scaffold is gradually being removed with final external items being completed such as the saw tooth window cladding. As this cladding weathers its colour will mellow in with the rest of the building. The plywood hoardings have been removed allowing the landscaping works to commence. - 13 Jul 2015

The Head Boy and Head Girl and President of the School Council visited the building and reported back to the student body on how the building work is progressing.

The tower crane was removed a couple of weeks ago and we are now starting to get a hint of what the building will look like as the scaffold sheeting is being removed. The final brickwork items are being completed and the scaffold is due to start being removed later this week. The lightning conductor is just visible centrally on the attached photo. - 29 Jun 15


Solar Panel installation - 1 Jun 2015

External view 

Roof well area where ventilation and extraction plant will be located so that they are not visible externally and noise is controlled. The roof access is the horizontal silver door at the far end of the photo.

Second floor ADT corridor being formed. 27 Apr 15

General view of the 6th Form Study space  roof almost complete - photovoltaic solar panels are due shortly to be fitted on the rear of the north lights.
Operations currently on site include bricklaying, window fitting, partitioning, services installation, screeding etc. 20Apr15 

Usual external view - the external scaffold now has its own access staircase so that the new building can be fully sealed up and to stop trades staff climbing through windows onto the scaffold. 20Apr15


 13 April

2 April 

The building is started to be wrapped up to protect the brickwork and pointing whilst it is laid and keep dust under control. 30 March

The roofing works have now commenced with the insulation visible on the roof. Also in the photo the timber work to the saw tooth windows at first floor level is being formed which is visible behind the scaffolding. 23 March

The north roof lights have been completed and also attached is a closer shot of them on the roof. Works on site include scaffolding, timberwork to the saw tooth windows (on the north side of the building), internal metal framed walling to the inside of the external walls, drainage from the roof and cable containment. 16 March

The north roof lights (you can see the timber formwork on the roof) are taking a bit longer to form due to their shape. Scaffolding ongoing and the timberwork to the saw tooth windows has just started.9 March

The roof has now been concreted with the north roof lights and west staircase planned to be completed this week. Scaffolding has started to be erected and the first delivery of bricks came to site last week. 3 March 

The last sections of the roof structure will be concreted this week. 23 Feb

The support work, shuttering and reinforcement is approximately 2/3rds complete to the roof. Due to the roof having a number of different levels with large beams and the addition of the north lights it has 28 tonnes of reinforcement in it and the concrete will be cast in five sections. Today the first section of concrete is being pumped which is at the east end of the building nearest the Science Building. 16 Feb

The east stair shaft has now been formed and support work and shuttering is now being formed for the roof structure. 9 February

All of the second floor was concreted last week and now the columns and walls are starting to be formed to support the roof structure. Hopefully you'll be able to have a look at how it is going on Thursday. 2 February

50% of the second floor is being concreted today with the remainder being concreted within the next week or so. Later today, once the concrete hardens so it can be walked on, the contractor will power float the surface so that they get a good finish for the flooring to go on it. This way there is no need to have a screed. 26 Jan

Columns and walls on the first floor are almost complete with support work now going in for the second floor 19 Jan

Last quarter of the first floor was concreted today with columns and walls starting to rise up on the first floor 12 Jan

Upper 5th Pupils visit the Building Project 16 Dec

First floor reinforcement being installed 15 Dec

First floor support work and shuttering being installed 8 Dec

Ground Floor columns and walls being formed 1 Dec

Ground floor columns being formed 18 Nov

Ground Floor has been concreted 10 Nov

Ground Floor insulation ready to be laid 24 Oct

Piling in progress 26 September

Piling mat is installed 15 September


Demolition completed after one and a half days' work  August 14

Old ADT block before work began on the new project.

Architects' impression of Sixth Form and ADT Building viewed from the School side.